COVID’s impact on education

In the video below, The Economist Magazine covers how technology could transform education post the COVID pandemic. It will be interesting to see what sticks versus what falls by the wayside. One of the challenges every student has is to optimise how to best study whether at home or back in school. There are proven ways to remain focused and engaged and get more studying done in a lot less time.

Teaching Art to Young Students? Take Note of These Suggestions

One of the most fulfilling professions is teaching art. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to inspire, engage and teach art with age-appropriate subjects and techniques.

Instructors can use various ways to teach art. If you’re teaching art to online middle school students, for instance, you’ll want to assign subjects that are simple to draw. You could also show how to do the project yourself to engage and inspire students.

If you’re looking for additional tips to effectively teach art, keep these other suggestions in mind:

Choose Familiar and Fun Subjects to Paint or Draw

By assigning a familiar subject for the young ones, you’re instilling the confidence they need to begin a new drawing or painting project. Instead of choosing an obscure architecture, opt for something that you can easily find in everyday life. A few examples include a teddy bear, white clouds or flowers in a vase.

Encourage and Provide Positive Feedback Frequently

Zero in on achievements and improvements, focusing your encouragement around hard work, perseverance and effort instead of talent. When the little ones in the classroom hear criticism, they may decide to give up and erroneously conclude that art is for talented people only. Rather than judging a child’s work like an art critic, use questions and words of encouragement to help the little ones notice things and elements about their drawing.

Here’s an example: if you come across a student who has drawn a body part that’s out of scale or unusual, such as a family with big hands, get them to tell you more about these hands. Encouraging them to provide more details about their artwork will give you insights into their observation skills.

As for words of encouragement, don’t hesitate to offer affirmation if the student did well on their project. You could give statements like, “Awesome! The shapes that you chose for your drawing look fantastic” or “You’re doing an amazing job staying focused on your painting.”

Try Giving Open-Ended Art Projects to Older Children

If you have students aged eight and above, give them a challenging project by drawing a scene from their favorite movie or book. Alternatively, ask them to produce a painting of memory, such as the time they went swimming on summer vacation. This particular project style aims to teach students to skillfully combining creativity, imagination and memory to produce a wonderful piece of art.

When the kids finish drawing or painting, ask them to present their work to everyone. Take this opportunity to facilitate a fun and fulfilling share-and-respond session with the class.

Ban the Use of Erasers and Pencils

If you’re going to ask young students to draw something, make sure they use a material other than a pencil and an eraser. The reason behind this is simple: a tiny pencil encourages tiny drawings. If a kindergarten student, for instance, is drawing a portrait and then is required to paint that work of art, using a pencil will surely result in frustration. Painting small eyes and other body parts, for instance, can get frustrating.

Another reason is that pencil markings are temporary. The little ones can simply grab their eraser and rub out their drawings anytime. This can result in second-guessing and lots of eraser action. This eats up their time and prevents them from getting their art project completed on time (or at all).

When you’re assigning an art project to the class, provide markers and oil pastels as your primary materials. They enable the student to move as quickly as possible, forgive their mistakes and commit to whatever they have on paper. These materials also allow kids to immerse themselves in the creative process and not overthink the details.

Allot a Period for Quiet Time

After going over the instructions and providing the materials needed to complete the art project, proceed with ten minutes of silence. This quiet time is crucial, as it serves as an opportunity to come up with an art idea, plan their approach and become immersed in the art production process.

Expand Learning Beyond the Four Walls of Your Classroom

If the school permits, take your students to a museum or gallery in your local community and have them check out masterpieces in person. Viewing artworks in person provides a different experience than simply seeing them on a computer monitor or a projector screen.

When organizing a field trip, get in touch with the education department of the museum. This department exists to support teachers and students, as well as provide resources to support your art teachings.

Teaching art to young students is a wonderful experience, as you get to see them have fun drawing and painting using their imagination. Apply these tips, so you could teach this subject more effectively in class.

Why Burying Yourself in Textbooks Isn’t the Way to Better Grades

Academic pressure is real. It’s an evolving concept that has plagued many students worldwide, simply because of the belief that high educational attainment is the solution to life’s greatest problems. While there’s a bit of truth in that, your grades aren’t the sole determinant of your future. Another truth you have to accept is that your all-work-no-play approach to your studies is doing you more harm than good.

When academic pressure reaches a tipping point, you risk experiencing depression, anxiety, and a loss of motivation. The trick is an over-familiar antidote: balance. Whether you like the sound of it or not doesn’t matter. A balanced study life is the way to go, and this article will break down the top three reasons why.

Your Brain Needs Rest

Like so many of your peers, you wear your exhaustion as a badge of honor. It’s proof that you’re going the extra mile for that grade, and there’s no room in your day for rest. Psychologist ScottBea,PsyDsays that today’s culture has made”downtime”a dirty word when it’s exactly what the brain needs to function better. He compares the brain to a sponge, which needs to dry out before absorbing new information. An overworked brain is unlikely to process data well, and the only way to fix it is to indulge in some downtime.

Research shows that resting can improve your concentration, performance, and mood. Refusing to step away from your textbooks will not only result in the exact opposite. It can also lead to chronic stress and a feeling of being burned out. It’s more difficult to recover when you’ve reached that point, so before you feel as though you can’t read another word about Postmodernism, go ahead and doze off.

Studying isn’t the Only Way

Developing the ability to recall information better and concentrate more in class is integral to successful students. Polish these skills by attending piano lessons. Learning how to play the piano is a great way to take a break from your textbooks, as well as to hone those much-needed cognitive skills.

Would it be too far-fetched to say it also makes you smarter? Not really, because studies confirm that it activates parts of the brain used in math and spatial reasoning. Its positive impact on your spatial-temporal ability can lead to better grades in math and science.

You’ll find that, in the course of mastering piano pieces, you’ve also developed your discipline and perseverance. Just because it won’t further your knowledge on the Pythagorean Theorem or the solar system doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time. It might just be exactly what you need to develop better study habits.

Motivation and Inspiration are Integral

Motivation is what moves you to do something. Academic pressure is neither a healthy motivation nor a lasting one. What you need is a personal drive to continue learning difficult terminologies and mastering math formulas. When reflecting on your motivations, think about your desires for the future. A successful career is a given. What about traveling all over the globe? Contributing to organizations that fight climate change? Moving out of your parents’ house and creating a space of your own?

Find things that inspire you, like a painting, a photograph, or a book. You’ll hear people say that inspiration is overrated, but it’s intrinsically linked to motivation; therefore, it’s important. Identifying the”why’s”of your life might give you the extra kick you need to focus on your studies.

Life is More Than Your Grades

Perhaps the biggest lie that pressures you to do well in school is that your grades define you. By no means. Do your best to succeed academically because it is important, but don’t forget your other passions. Make time for your hobbies and invest in your relationships. A balanced life is a happy life, and that’s what you must ultimately be after.

13 Ways to Stay Focused While Studying

Exams are approaching, deadlines are piling up, and the pile of empty energy drink cans keeps growing in the corner of your dorm room. And yet, you haven’t even made a dent in your to-do list because of so many distractions. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, here are some of the best strategies that can help you maintain your focus while studying:

1. Ditch the caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine can make you hyperactive, which can be counterintuitive if you’re trying to study or do homework. Moreover, it can also disrupt your sleep patterns, which can throw you into a cycle of drinking coffee to wake yourself up and then not sleeping because of the caffeine, something that can sabotage your studying efforts even further.

Instead of coffee or tea, try flavored water without artificial sweeteners or other drinks with little to no caffeine content. Better yet, stick to plain water.

2. Keep your phone away

For many of us, our smartphone is the biggest distraction of them all. One minute you could be checking a message, and then the next thing you know, half an hour has passed and your phone is still in your hand. To avoid your phone from distracting you, keep it as far away from you as possible when you’re doing schoolwork.

3. Play white noise

According to research, your brain’s auditory centers can become focused when you hear white noise, improving memory and concentration. Try playing white noise during your next study session and see if it helps you remain focused.

4. Keep your desk organized

A messy desk can make it harder for your brain to remain focused on the task at hand. Keep your study area clean and organized so that your brain is not distracted by the clutter.

5. Go to the library

The library is one of the best places to study at college or university. But when you go to the library, make sure you study instead of being on your phone the whole time.

6. Study alone

It might not always be a good idea to study in groups, especially if you and your friends tend to distract each other during your study sessions. Instead, study alone for the first half of your revision time, and then study as a group when all of you have read the course material.

7. Talk to roommates and neighbors

College dormitories and apartments are notorious for being rambunctious. If the noise keeps distracting you, politely ask your roommates or neighbors to tone it down a little. They might not be too keen to do so, but it’s worth a shot.

8. Invest in noise-canceling headphones

If the previous tip doesn’t work, buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones so you can have peace whenever you want.

9. Get enough sleep

Your brain has a harder time focusing if it’s deprived of sleep, so if you feel sleepy, allow your body to rest. It will be much easier to focus afterward.

10. Block distractions

Using an app on your phone or Internet browser, block distracting sites or notifications when it’s time to study.

11. Limit multitasking

Many people become excellent multitaskers in college. But while this skill can be useful, multitasking can affect your efficiency as well as the quality of your work. When doing schoolwork, limit your tasks to two or three at a time.

12. Learn to say no

Your roommate wants to watch a movie with you, your friends are inviting you to eat, and your lab partner is bugging you for a joint study session. Sometimes, everyone wants to do something with you while you’re desperately trying to study. But as tempting as socializing might sound right now, you have to learn how to say no.


13. Start work early

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of college students, and it’s a tough one to beat. But if you want to increase your focus levels while studying, start your work early so that you aren’t forced to cram. In this way, you can take your time with your work, which makes it easier to focus on each task at hand instead of trying to absorb everything at once.

Noisy neighbors, rambunctious roommates, and endless notifications: these are some distractions in college that can make it harder for you to focus. Fortunately, these strategies can help you maintain your concentration and make it easier for you to perform well in your academics.

Do you have any other studying tips to share? Please leave them in the comments below!

Thinking Outside the Box: Improving Your Skillset Beyond Your Job

With more experience and training, we continuously develop our respective crafts and climb up the career ladder. It’s a competitive landscape out there, and being able to succeed takes developing skills and improving upon them. There are several engaging ways to go about this self-improvement that can help you along your way, even outside the confines of your workspace.

  • Playing music to improve focus and productivity

Musical training legitimately changes up your brain structure, so if you’ve ever thought about taking up piano lessons, there’s a lot more it can provide than a great hobby or an interesting thing to do at dinner parties. Among the many cognitiveeffectsit has, some of the most useful include improving the way your mind can focus and remain mentally alert. That does wonder for your efficiency and level of productivity for any endeavor.

  • Learning a new language to improve networking

Learning a language can open you up to new cultures and a deeper understanding of communication. It is an excellent pathway to developing your ability to empathize and connect with others through verbalization and can pave the way for forming new relationships with others through common threads. As you expand your knowledge and vocabulary, not only do you have a new impressive trait for your resume, but you also will likely feel more confident building up a rapport with others.

  • Playing video games to enhance coordination and reaction

Studies have shown a link between playing video games to the increase of hand-eye coordination and an improvement in reaction time. These results have even paved the way for games as a means to train doctors and surgeons, as those same studies revealed that those in the medical field that played games made 37% fewer mistakes in suturing and laparoscopic techniques. Playing some relevant games for a healthy amount of time can help you round out your skills.

  • Diving into the 20-hour method

It has been revealed that anyone can develop a new skill with a basic understanding as long as they dedicate 20 hours into it. It may be hard to blast through this in a single sitting, so you can even cut that up into shorter hours and be able to add something to your toolset for life. In the long run, that’s not a lot of time lost, especially if it can help you accumulate more know-how on various useful skills. If you put even more time into it, you can become more proficient as well.

  • Partaking in speaking challenges

Speaking challenges were designed to make individuals do different speech exercises every day for a select period. That can be a fun way for you to develop your speech abilities and build up more confidence in how you talk. The more goals you hit, the more you can form muscle memory that allows you to speak clearly and confidently, whether it’s a one-on-one or public speaking engagement.

Try out some of these activities yourself, and see how you improve yourself in diverse ways that benefit your work.

How to Improve Your Child’s Concentration While They Study at Home

Many kids find it difficult to divert all their attention to one task. Nowadays, numerous distractions surround them. Why should they do their homework when there are videos to watch on YouTube, television series to binge on Netflix, and video games to play on the Nintendo Switch?

However, learning to concentrate is an essential skill that they have to learn in order to succeed in school and in life. It is what they need to get good grades on tests and, eventually, to excel at their jobs as adults.

If your child is having trouble focusing on their online middle school educationor even face-to-face classes, here are some tips that can help them.

Remove Distractions

The most important tip that will make a huge difference is to remove any distractions. Keep the television off when it is time to do their homework. Do not let them use or, if needed, keep their smartphones away from them for a while.

You should also try to keep background noise at a minimum: no loud shouting or phones ringing. And, clean their desks. The only thing that should be catching their attention is the homework in front of them.

Do Brain Training Activities

Concentration, just like other skills, need to be practiced and developed over time. You cannot expect your child to have the concentration of a chess master overnight. You need to encourage them to pursue activities that will improve their concentration. These activities include crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and chess.

Make sure that the activity is appropriate to their age or level. If it is too easy or too hard, it will fail to catch their attention.

Let Them Exercise and Sleep

Exercise is good for the body and for the mind. In one 2018 study, researchers found that kids who exercised every dayimproved their concentration and attention after just four weeks.

Exercise also allows your child to spend their extra energy into another task, making them more attentive when they need to concentrate on a school activity.

Sleep, on the other hand, has a positive effect on mood and performance. When a person does not get enough sleep (9 to 11 hours for school children aged 6 to 1), their ability to concentrate will decline and they become inattentive.

It is important, therefore, for your child to go to bed early during school nights. Not only will it prevent health problems from popping up later down the line, but it will also ensure that their minds are alert in order to understand their lessons and responds to questions with the right answer.

Play Soothing Music

There are sounds that do not distract but improves concentration.

There is evidence that backs the claims that listening to music while you work can help your mind focus on the task at hand. Classical music, particularly baroque classical music, is the best when it comes to concentration.

If your child does not enjoy that sort of music, ambient and electronic also work. Or, if that is still distracting, white noise and nature sounds will drown out loud sounds.

It will take a lot of work and you might have to wait a long time before you can see improvements. However, as long as you keep trying, your child will eventually be able to concentrate on their schooling.


What to Remember When You’re Learning Something New

Many people say that learning should be a life-long pursuit. Your formal education could end as soon as you graduate from high school or university, but you should continue learning as you go through life. It could be attending workshops to enhance your skills and make yourself more valuable at work, or it could be a hobby that you’ve always been interested in. Whatever the reason, continuously learning sharpens your intellect and keeps you relevant.

Naturally, some skills would take more time to learn than others. It would also depend on your ability when you started learning-being a complete beginner would mean you’d have a higher learning curve than one who has already had some experience. Still, there are things you need to keep in mind, regardless of your skill level.

Be Prepared to Put in the Hours

Whether you’re a newbie or not, if you’re learning a new skill, you need to be prepared to allot a significant amount of time in your education. That is especially true if you’re learning to play a musical instrument. The longer you practice on it, the faster you’ll learn. If it’s a soft skill, like writing, commit to writing a journal every night. You’ll find that the practice of simply writing down your thoughts at the end of the day could start motivating you to take on more writing tasks.

Break Your Education Down Into Parts

It’s tempting to just jump right into learning when you’re excited. Some people would also say that they’d instead start doing something, then learn from their mistakes as they go along. That could work, but sometimes it could backfire on you, particularly if you’re trying to learn something new.

For example, you want to learn to make beautiful wood art pieces, so you purchase a high-resolution laser-cutting machine. You might have a one-of-a-kind design in mind, but if you don’t take the time to learn how to use the tool correctly, you might end up getting frustrated and giving up on your ideas.

That won’t happen if you break down the learning process into digestible sections. In this case, learn the theory and the proper usage first, before moving on to its practical uses.

Learn with Others

Remember how fun learning is in school when you have your classmates? Not only do you have other people to share notes with, but you also have a peer group you could have fun with. The same could still be true if you’re mastering a skill outside of the classroom. Take knitting, for instance. There are many how-to videos on YouTube that you could watch and learn along with, but signing up for a class at your local craft store would be more interactive and fun.

When you learn with a group of your peers, instead of mastering a skill on your own, you have additional resources. You have someone teaching the class (your subject matter expert), and you have your classmates whose different life experiences could be beneficial to your learning.

It’s never too late to learn anything-whether it’s a new skill or a new way of thinking. The key things to remember are to keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to fail. As you continue learning your skills, those failures will turn to successes.

Soft Skills You Learn at School That Prepare You for the Workplace

School does not just teach you how to solve equations or memorize facts. By the time that you graduate, there are skills that you should have gained that will be useful once you finally enter the workforce.

The skills mentioned below are necessary for you to become an independent and functioning adult.

Use Your Time Wisely

Leave the bad habit of procrastinating behind. As an adult, you need to be able to know how to manage your time.

Deadlines are a lot less flexible in professional settings. Your bosses and clients expect you to deliver a satisfactory output on time. Time is money in any field, but especially in business. You can no longer wait until the last minute to do your tasks. You would not just get a failing grade when you submit a sloppy product because it might cause you to lose your job.

Create healthy habits now. Develop your own schedule that you will follow dutifully and strive not to put off assignments.

Organize Your Life

The time you spend in school negotiating with caterers and looking for a pagoda tent for sale for your campus event was not for vain. It taught you organizational skills.

Having organizational skills means you are capable of using your energy and resources effectively. You meet the targets that you or your boss has set for you. You know which tasks need to be prioritized and work on them accordingly. Finally, you know exactly where the office supplies that you need are kept.

Organization is the key to living a life with no stress. If you have a mountain of work, your responsibilities seem insurmountable. However, when you have a clear strategy, you can do your work with ease.

Seek Feedback

You cannot expect to do everything perfectly. At some point, you will make a mistake and you will receive criticism.

Learning to accept negative comments about your performance starts in school. Your teacher leaving notes on the essay you submitted, crossing out a wrong answer in your test, etc. are meant to correct your missteps. The same happens in the workplace. The feedback you receive should be taken as an opportunity to improve your work and yourself.

Be a Critical Thinker

Critical thinking skills are valued in the workforce. The best companies around the world want those who are able to come up with effective solutions to complex problems.

In school, you develop critical thinking by reading, researching, discussing and debating, etc. It is a process; a critical thinker knows how to listen actively, gather and analyze information, and communicate their point across in a calm manner.

Know When to Ask for Help

In the office, you would not have the luxury of hiring a tutor to help you understand a difficult lesson. However, when tasks become overwhelming and you do not know how to proceed, you can always ask your colleagues for help.

As much as independence, teamwork is also an essential skill in the workforce. You should be able to work efficiently alongside other people, ask for help, and extend a helping hand to whoever needed it.All the group projects in school were not for naught.

Going to school prepares you for the future. Take advantage of every opportunity for learning presented to you and savor every moment. By studying, you will become more equipped to pursue your dreams as you grow older.

Math Doesn’t Suck

This video explains why Danica McKellar wrote her book “Math doesn’t suck”. I am now going to investigate her other books to determine if they can help people who struggle with math.

Thank you Andrew Powell for sharing!

Form the Right Study Habits to Become Effective in Life

“More money, more problems” may hold an element of truth. An adult who doesn’t have a job only needs to focus on that single problem. Once you start earning, there are more things you need to be concerned with. How do you manage your spending? Should you take on a side hustle or start investing?

Of course, choosing between those two scenarios is a no-brainer. Most people would rather have to worry about what condominium insurance to get, where to invest their money, or how they can budget their travels. These are good problems to have.

But you don’t get to be in this position unless you combine hard work with effective application. And that’s something you can train yourself to do from an early age. It all begins with the way you approach your studying.

Your brain needs grease

You might have heard people praise the ability to multitask, but don’t fall for it. Handling multiple problems at the same time dilutes your brainpower. Studies show that your cognitive capacity is impaired, and productivity drops by up to 40% when you multitask. Focus on one problem, and your brain performance will improve.

So how does this help you study? After all, most students don’t open multiple books and attempt to read them at the same time. But look around your study environment. Conduct an honest appraisal of your study habits. How many distractions are present when you study? These interruptions can be hindering your ability to learn.

People moving around or talking can disrupt your focus. Mobile devices within arm’s reach might be inviting you to take a quick break, play a game, or check social media. Even if you resolutely ignore notifications, the fact that they are there can be distracting. And effective study is hard. Your brain needs help; give it some grease. Create an environment for yourself that’s conducive to concentration and retention of knowledge.

Put your devices in another room and fill the background with your choice of white noise. Set boundaries so that friends and family won’t disturb you during scheduled hours. Conversely, by observing these boundaries, you can discipline yourself. You’ll be able to grease the groove for your brain to slide into ‘study mode’ more quickly.

Effective studying is a skill

Maybe you’ve noticed that some people simply seem to be gifted when it comes to studying. Set two students to read the same chapter, and one of them might have it internalized within an hour while the other isn’t halfway through. This can happen regardless of the study environment. What gives?

Like artistic ability, people have varying levels of innate proficiency when it comes to studying. And with art, many people think that’s the end of the story. You’re either gifted or not. But the truth is that everyone can begin learning how to draw. Through smart practice, they can get better and draw more than stick figures. They level up what was once a negligible artistic gift.

Just like art, studying is a skill. You don’t have to be limited to the initial level you start at. You can put in the effort and use proven tactics to focus better and retain more knowledge. U.S. memory champion Nelson Dellis didn’t start with a fantastic memory but practiced memorization techniques until he reached elite levels. You can experiment with his system of “See, Link, Go,” or research other methods. There’s no shortage of memory tips and tricks you can find online. As long as you keep on trying to improve, you’ll get better.

Help others, help yourself

Students often form study groups at school. This isn’t just an option for people to socialize more while they try to study. It has the potential to benefit everyone involved.

It’s easy to see how advanced learners can help others to comprehend the course material and bring them up to speed. But if they are already ahead of the curve, how do these advanced students benefit in turn? Teaching others is a powerful tool for internalizing lessons. It challenges you to master concepts to explain them to others adequately.

You can harness the power of teaching even in a solo effort. Talking out loud, try to explain lessons or quiz yourself. But it’s simply more fun and rewarding to be part of a team effort. What comes around goes around. You never know when you might be the one needing help from someone with greater expertise.

Studying effectively requires both effort and application. And if you can make that a habit, you’ll build up advantages along the way. Land a great job, earn more money, and enjoy all the problems that come with it.

The Quiet Value of Patience for a 21st Century Student

Schools underscore the values of diligence and perseverance, but in order to achieve these, you must first learn the value of patience. It’s a virtue that’s often lost today because people are used to lightning-fast developments. Life moves a lot faster, and we want things to happen right away. Just take a look at how computer users get frustrated when websites don’t load immediately.

Patience is not just a willingness to wait-it also a willingness to be inconvenienced for a while, in the name of keeping the peace. It’s a willingness to take the harder path for much better outcomes.

As a student, patience is a virtue you need to hone as you finish your studies and become part of the wider world.

Why Should You Be Patient?

When people talk about patience, they always highlight its benefits for the recipient of the patient behaviour. If you’re a patient parent, your child won’t be at the receiving end of a yell fest. If you’re a patient customer, people who work in customer support won’t experience undue frustration.

However, the value of patience also benefits you. Patient people experience better mental health because you can cope better with upsetting situations. You feel more grateful, and you’re always at peace.

Patience attracts people, too-people who can control your temper create better relationships. If you’re a patient friend, your clique returns the kindness. If you’re a patient entrepreneur, you cultivate great business relationships. You have your pick of options for outsourcing back office stuff. A lot of investors will approach you, and customers would be loyal to you.

More importantly, patience helps you achieve your goals. Because you’re willing to tough it out, you are better placed to succeed.

How to Be More Patient

Patience-like every other skill-takes time to develop. You can’t transform into a saint overnight, especially if you’re prone to bouts of temper. The good news, however, is that you can start nurturing patience today.

  1. Be in touch with your emotions – The first step to being patient is to actively recognize the moments when you’re impatient. People get lost in anger and rage that they forget that they are dealing with people who can be affected by their words and actions. Whenever you feel impatient, acknowledge that you are impatient, and think why you are so.
  2. Reframe your mind – Understand that it isn’t always the other person’s fault. Perhaps there are too many diners and too few workers, so your food takes a while. Perhaps your classmate didn’t intentionally lose your brand-new pen. Try to see things from the other person’s perspective.
  3. Focus on the big picture – Choose your battles; you cannot be frustrated at every little inconvenience. Always look at the bigger picture. In fulfilling your dreams, this delayed package might not even matter.

Patience is quiet, but it speaks volumes about the kind of person that you are. And the beautiful thing about patience is that it is, more often than not, reciprocated. A little patience every day goes

Training and learning – The challenge of remote teams

COVID and Working From Home (WFH) have brought on a lot of challenges for people who are not used to working remotely.

We can all attest to how much the Internet has made significant changes and improvements to our daily lives. We now have the concept of telecommuting, which is basically working from the comfort of your own home (WFH). It can be an interesting experiment for some start-ups or small companies, and it has its merits. All factors considered, the fact that the employee is at home reduces the cost of maintaining an office. This includes paying for a lease, network management, janitorial services, and miscellaneous items like supplies of toiletries and drinking water for the pantry. When it comes to the technical stuff, they can offer to provide the computer hardware and shoulder the Internet billing of the worker.

Looking far into the future, if they need to conduct personal development programs there are tools or applications that can be used for that. There would be no problem running a virtual leadership training if an employee is a candidate for a promotion. For the leaders though, there could be the challenge of managing their teams remotely. Here are some things to consider in overcoming that.

Project Management Tools

Managing a group of people remotely may seem daunting at first, but there are tools out there that can help you manage them. There are applications out there that focus on project management. These can help you track the progress of each person’s assigned tasks. Some allow you to communicate within the app itself, which can be useful if you want to send out a reminder if a deadline has lapsed.

You can create comprehensive and structured information on your major initiatives and the tasks under them. This should allow you to quantify how things are moving along. For example, you can assign 10 tasks under a section. Every task that is completed would then represent 10% of the overall progress. If there are people who are holding things up, you can easily let those responsible know that they are accountable for that.

Overall, a project management tool helps you organize and track what is happening with your team. It lets you find out the gaps or pauses in the process so that you can act on them.


The proper communication avenues should be established with the team from the beginning. You should have access to email and chatting tools and establish rules and regulations around them. For example, you can set a window in which they need to respond when someone sends them a message. They need to acknowledge that to let you know that they are paying attention. There are no other ways to communicate in a real-time fashion except through the chat, so it would defeat the purpose if people start ignoring it.

When it comes to emails, uniformity is key to show professionalism. You do not want to see those outside your organization to receive emails from different team members that have an inconsistent look. Let everyone know on which font and size should be used, and also send out a template of the company signature. This is an area where one can make an impression, so you better aim for the positive side.

Team meetings can be handled by programs that can handle conference calls. You can ask them to have them turn on their video turned on during a meeting just so you know that no one is skipping it.


The team should also have access to their own calendars, and this is where they can check how their schedules would look like for the day. If you need to send them invites to team meetings, it should show up on their end too. It would be hard for anyone to miss their tasks or targets for the day. They should be responsible for possible repercussions in case there are lapses. You can use this along with the data that you have with your project management tool if you need to write up an action plan for an employee. They should know that there are consequences that await them if they fail to comply repeatedly.

This should drive home the idea of accountability. It is all too easy to get distracted when you are working from home. If one keeps falling into that trap, they need a wake-up call.

To get people to a level where they can be the best version of themselves, there should be harmony at work. If you and your team are just starting out with a remote setup, give it some time to develop first. People need to adjust to new environments, so it is just natural for you to see people stumbling as they work. Keep your communication lines open so you can help out those in need. Once you all work in sync together, you can expect to hit your major goals in no time.

10,473 MBA Students Grade Their Schools

Today’s post is a very interesting report of 10,473 MBA student-satisfaction ratings of their business schools that reveals that the top tier looks quite different to what the schools report amongst themselves when it comes to questions about inspiration, ethical careers and competitive heat. For the scoring, the report surveyed 126 schools, listing the 30 schools that scored best in seven key questions.

If you’re a prospective MBA student, this is a must-read article.

Does Reading Fiction Make Us Better People?

That is an interesting question this BBC article addresses quite well – does reading fiction make you a better person?

One thing we do know for sure is that reading MORE non-fiction books ensures you’ll have a better, higher-paying career.





Should I read or listen to a book?

Each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

By Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

A few years ago, when people heard I was a reading researcher, they might ask about their child’s dyslexia or how to get their teenager to read more. But today the question I get most often is, “Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?”

Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting — rendered it a skillthat seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

In fact, they overlap considerably. Consider why audiobooks are a good workaround for people with dyslexia: They allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind. Although decoding is serious work for beginning readers, it’s automatic by high school, and no more effortful or error prone than listening. Once you’ve identified the words (whether by listening or reading), the same mental process comprehends the sentences and paragraphs they form.

Writing is less than 6,000 years old, insufficient time for the evolution of specialized mental processes devoted to reading. We use the mental mechanism that evolved to understand oral language to support the comprehension of written language. Indeed, research shows that adults get nearly identical scores on a reading test if they listen to the passages instead of reading them.

Nevertheless, there are differences between print and audio, notably prosody. That’s the pitch, tempo and stress of spoken words. “What a great party” can be a sincere compliment or sarcastic put-down, but they look identical on the page. Although writing lacks symbols for prosody, experienced readers infer it as they go. In one experiment, subjects listened to a recording of someone’s voice who either spoke quickly or slowly. Next, everyone silently read the same text, purportedly written by the person whose voice they had just heard. Those hearing the quick talker read the text faster than those hearing the slow talker.

But the inferences can go wrong, and hearing the audio version — and therefore the correct prosody — can aid comprehension. For example, today’s student who reads “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” often assumes that Juliet is asking where Romeo is, and so infers that the word art would be stressed. In a performance, an actress will likely stress Romeo, which will help a listener realize she’s musing about his name, not wondering about his location.

It sounds as if comprehension should be easier when listening than reading, but that’s not always true. For example, one study compared how well students learned about a scientific subject from a 22-minute podcast versus a printed article. Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.

What happened? Note that the subject matter was difficult, and the goal wasn’t pleasure but learning. Both factors make us read differently. When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think. Each is easier with print than with a podcast.

Print also supports readers through difficult content via signals to organization like paragraphs and headings, conventions missing from audio. Experiments show readers actually take longer to read the first sentence of a paragraph because they know it probably contains the foundational idea for what’s to come.

So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.

This conclusion — equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones — is open to changes in the future. As audiobooks become more common, listeners will gain experience in comprehending them and may improve, and publishers may develop ways of signaling organization auditorily.

But even with those changes, audiobooks won’t replace print because we use them differently. Eighty-one percent of audiobook listeners say they like to drive, work out or otherwise multitask while they listen. The human mind is not designed for doing two things simultaneously, so if we multitask, we’ll get gist, not subtleties.

Still, that’s no reason for print devotees to sniff. I can’t hold a book while I mop or commute. Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be none.

So no, listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

You can buy my audio book here or you can buy the print book here.

Students watching other students study – new viral trend?

Students watching other students study is this the new viral trend?

Post comments below!

What’s so special about this lecture hall photo?

Tell us what'S so special with a comment below!

Tell us what’s so special with a comment below! But don’t look down until YOU find it!

9 TED Talks Recommended For Students By Students

Ever heard of  TED Talks ?  TED Talks is devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (maximum of 18 minutes) on various topics.  There are near 1500 videos on their website.  Whenever you need inspiration, motivation or just to look at something interesting or different, select one amongst the various subjects and spend some quality time expanding your perspective.

TED stands for:  Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Try watching 1-2 TED Talks a week whenever you have 15 minutes to spare.   The more you learn, the better!

Here are 9 very interesting TED Talks selected by students for students.


Are you smarter than a second grader?

Are you smarter than a second grader?

This test was administered to second graders….!

Are you sure?

There were some people on a train

At the first stop, 19 people get off the train.

At the next stop, 17 people get on the train.

Now there are 63 people on the train.

How many people were on the train to begin with?

Answer by placing a comment below.



Four Memory Tricks

Four Memory Tricks
Nothing helps you get ahead quicker than a good memory. Whether you’re trying to remember the name of the guy you just met, a state capital, or complex sets of business data, these simple tricks can help you improve your memory skills.

1. Start by chunking. According to psychologists, it’s especially hard to make your brain recall long lists of separate pieces of information. To make it easier to remember a long list of almost anything, break the list into small and manageable groups, or “chunks.”

For example, you might find it hard to remember all of the original 13 British colonies in the United States. But if you break them into small groups based on common traits, such as the region each colony belongs in, it’s much easier. First, just concentrate on learning which colonies belong in which region. When you know each region, you know the whole set of 13.


1.       Delaware
2.       New York
3.       New Jersey
4.       Pennsylvania

1.       Maryland
2.       Virginia
3.       North Carolina
4.       South Carolina
5.       Georgia
New England

1.       Connecticut
2.       Rhode Island
3.       Massachusetts
4.       New Hampshire
2. Use mnemonic devices. These are memory improvement techniques, and are sometimes quite elaborate. One common device uses words or abbreviations to compress lists of information into shorter bits that are easier to remember. Here are some common examples:

Names of the Great Lakes

H-O-M-E-S;  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior

Colors of the spectrum

R-o-y G. B-i-v; Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet

Order of operations in mathematics

Please Explain My Dull, Awful Subjects; Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division,Addition/Subtraction

Planets in the solar system

Many Vocal Enemies Make Jokes Squealing Under Nervous Pressure; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Biology taxonomy

Kings Play Chess On Funny Green Squares; Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

Musical scale

Every Good Boy Does Fine; E, G, B, D, F

3. Link information to visual cues. Often it’s easier to remember a place or an image and its characteristics, than it is to recall a set of unfamiliar pieces of information. To memorize the information, you can try taking an item from the list and associating it in your mind with a picture or place that you know well.
For example, let’s say you need to memorize the presidents of the United States since World War II. You could associate each of the presidents with a place you know well, such as your front porch:

Sitting on the steps
Knocking at the front door
Swinging on a porch swing
Standing at the mailbox
Ringing the doorbell
Sitting in a wicker chair
Standing under the porch light
Bush (1st)
Standing on the right
Sitting at a table
Bush (2nd)
Standing on the left

To reinforce this, you could draw a sketch of your porch, and note on it the location of each president. This technique is so powerful that you might find yourself thinking of the presidents the next time you go to your porch.

4. Read with a purpose. Many psychologists think that the best way to remember what you read is to follow the PQ4R method. PQ4R is a mnemonic device for Preview, Question, and four R’s: Read, Reflect, Recite, Review.

If you are reading a chapter in your biology book, for example, you should start by skimming the whole chapter for an overview. Then create some questions to concentrate on while you study, such as “How does photosynthesis work?” Then read the chapter.

After you’ve finished, reflect–think about how the chapter has answered your questions. Recite the answers back to yourself, explaining the information in your own words. Finally, go back through the book, skimming again for the main points.

Sound like a lot of work? It may take longer than a quick skim, but it’s also a great way to make sure you retain what you are reading, rather than just sitting in front of the book and turning pages.